Demos Dominate New Elections Task Force




State Sen. Eleanor Sobel has a new task force which she hopes will end the long lines and insure votes will be counted quickly in the future.

But it appears that any recommendations from the Broward Elections Task Force will have a Democratic slant.

The committee is dominated by Democrats.

The question is this: Will any suggestions from this task force be acceptable to the Republicans in charge of the Legislature?

Consider this.

Not only is the new task force led by Sobel, who to the left of the mainstream in Tallahassee. It also includes some of the most partisan Democrats she could find.

For instance, the strategist who led Barack Obama’s campaign to victory in Florida is a member. Ashley Walker was the Florida director of Obama for America and is a Broward resident.

Also on the task force is Larry Davis, a veteran Hollywood-based Democratic operative who was part of Obama’s Florida legal team.  And there is state Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood, who is surely one of the most liberal members of the Florida House.

Other notable Democratic members are County Commissioner Barbara Sharief, Mayor Mike Ryan of Sunrise and Commissioner Bobby DuBose of Fort Lauderdale.

There are two Republican activists on the task force – County Commissioner Chip LaMarca and Shane Strum, former Broward Republican chair and chief-of-staff for Gov. Charlie Crist who now works for Keiser University.

County Court Judge Ed Merrigan, a Republican,  is also a member. As a judge he is not supposed to be involved in politics.

Rounding out the group are two professors – Kevin Wagner of Florida Atlantic University and Robert Watson of Lynn University.

If you remove the professors from list (although from their public comments, they probably appear more Democratic than Republican to some.) and include Merrigan among the GOP partisans, the Ds still outnumber the Rs two-to-one.

The Broward Elections Task Force will meet for the first time Monday at 5 p.m. at the County Commission Chambers, 115 South Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale.





10 Responses to “Demos Dominate New Elections Task Force”

  1. One thing in common says:

    Not one of these people were on the streets during either the primary or the general election. No disrespect to ms walker but she was at the executive level.

    Usual elected official circle jerk with a few cronys like davis thrown in.

  2. Sam The Sham says:

    I am shocked! Shocked, I tell you. The party that celebrates diversity cannot withstand diversity of thought.

  3. Miriam was here says:

    In 2012. the voters of Broward had several option in order to cast a vote:
    1. Eight days of early voting; and
    2. Absentee voting; and
    3. Voting on election day.
    Voting lines were long the first day of early voting and on the last two days of early voting.
    Noticably, the lines were hours long on the last day of early voting.
    We don’t need a task force to figure out the problem.
    Voters had plenty of ways to vote in this last election.
    I believe that the main reason for the problems was due to voter procrastination. Waiting until the last day of early voting to stand in line for hours is not the fault of early voting procedures and rules.
    More early voting sites with more machines on the last two days of early voting will resolve the long lines.
    Also, one wonders whether certain groups told hoards of people to show up at the polls on the last afternoon of early voting to score some political points?
    We don’t need to extend the length of time for early voting back to two weeks (no one shows up during the first week anyway!) since two week early voting is a major waste of money.
    Rather, keep early voting as is and widen the voting opportunities by having more locations with more machines on the last weekend for the procrastinators and those who want to score political points by staging long lines.

  4. Jorge says:

    Democrats outnumber republicans by 2 to 1 in Broward so the task force is represented proportionately. Your angle on this story is irrelevant. Tallahassee will ignore anything from Broward not withstanding a “democratic slant”.

  5. Ha Ha Ha says:

    News flash for Miriam – the early voting lines were long on EVERY day of early voting. It was all documented here:

    Check the comments to that article for daily commentary on the multi-hour waits suffered on EVERY day of early voting!

  6. Just Beachy says:

    Establish full , on line secure site voting.
    Really need to add those who were ‘where the proverbial rubber met the road’, workers from the Top 15 precincts, voters who stayed in lines, the real people who are most affected during the decades of Broward voting debacles.

  7. how it all goes down says:

    This Committee is going to be the Rick Scott screwed us in the election Committee. One big round table of girping about Rick Scott. Where it will get good is where LaMarca falls, does he stay loyal to the Gov and defend him or break with him on this issue?

  8. Bernie Parness says:

    I went to the abovbe meeting and spoke but I think my intentions were mis-understood. I want the state to make it easier for the public as well as the Supervisor of elections. We had no early voting in Deerfield beach because budget cuts from the state forced the closing of the supervisors field office at the courthouse. The lines were therefore longer at other places. Curtailing the amount of days was not the SOE’s fault but the blame goes to the Republican legislators who passed the restrictive bill. Voting needs to made easy not difficult for the voters. The SOE did a good job with the equipment ,locations it had to work with.

  9. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Bernie, you’re wrong… the SoE could have opened many more early voting locations but (incompetently) chose not to, even though the reduced number of early voting days and the increased number of registered voters made it perfectly obvious to everyone (except her) that more early voting sites would be needed in order to compensate for the substantial reduction in voting hours…

    Idle Libraries?!? says:
    November 4th, 2012 at 1:47 am

    While voters stood waiting to vote for SEVEN HOURS at the Tamarac library, there were many Broward libraries that did not even participate in early voting!!!

    The Sunrise Branch Library, the Lauderhill Branch Library, the Lauderdale Lakes Branch Library, and many others could have also offered early voting, but did not.

    Why didn’t the Supervisor of Elections expand the number of early voting location to include all (or nearly all) of the Branch Libraries, especially given the large reduction in early voting hours and the large increase in the number of registered voters?

  10. Ha Ha Ha says:

    The total number of ballots cast in 2008 was 739,861 (out of 1,008,836 registered voters), a turnout rate of 73.34%.

    In 2012 the number of registered voters grew by over 13%, but only 762,345 ballots were cast – that’s only a 3% increase in the number of ballots cast in Broward County. The voter turnout dropped to only 66.85%.

    The seven hour waits at the early voting locations seriously damaged Broward County’s election results.